A couple of years ago, some MMQG members were chatting about how nice it would be to share our love of quilting with those less fortunate. MMQG member Billie (a go-getter!) contacted the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, a medium to maximum security women only correctional facility owned and managed by Corrections Victoria.
As she spoke with the Corrections Officer, it was revealed that she was also a quilter, and was one step ahead of us. She had just received funding for 12 sewing machines to commence a quilting program for prisoners at risk, but was in desperate need of supplies. She was delighted to hear that MMQG would like to assist!
The call went out to MMQG members for donations of fabric, and our members responded! Over 50kg of fabric was donated to this worthy program by members in the first run alone.
The women commenced their program by learning basic sewing and quilting skills, and began to make small quilts for premature babies, known as ‘Angel Quilts’.
In 2014, the women made Christmas stockings for all the children who visited the facility (friends and family members).
Ruth from the Dame Phyllis Frost recently wrote to MMQG:
“Thank you so much for the wonderful donation of fabric and cottons and batting. This has helped our quilting program to continue to grow… the women have to date made more than 400 ‘Angel Quilts’ and are loving being involved with this worthy cause.
They delight they have when receiving the fabric, looking at the colours etc is great… the fact that people care, and take the time to donate to the project is so appreciated by the women involved.
I have seen first hand how quilting can change lives… encourage, involve and create.”
At our most recent Sit and Sew Day, Billie brought quilts for Show and Tell. It was moving to see these quilts in person, and also to see the advance in the makers’ skill levels.
Through this informal relationship, the Centre accepts our donations of fabric, batting and thread and Billie kindly coordinates a few collections per year. If members are keen to donate, please hold on to your fabric, batting and thread at home, and watch for announcements for collections which are made via our private MMQG facebook group.